Robotics, digital imaging and a broad range of music styles from electroacoustic to electronica share the stage.
You could say that many hands will be making light work in Montréal in the coming months. It’s fitting that UNESCO has proclaimed 2015 the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies because spring in Montréal is going to be so bright with possibility, you’re gonna wanna wear shades.
Montréal is a world leader in creativity and connectivity, and the annual Chromatic festival is the embodiment of that assertion. Touting their 360-degree perspective on art, Chromatic has literally been to the mountaintop, and they’ll be going back again for their sixth instalment, May 23 to 30. The week-long celebration of Montréal imagination will once again take its place at the top of the town, in the classic stone-and-wood chalet at the summit of the city’s iconic Mount Royal. The scenic lookout will host a myriad range of arts – visual, digital, audio, performance, interactive, interdisciplinary and more – with a program that features over 150 artists and events, including concerts, exhibitions, screenings, workshops, parties and activities for all ages. Powered by Montréal’s respected MASSIVart collective, who specialize in event creation, production and design, the goal is once again to connect audiences with the artist. And new this year is a transatlantic connection as Chromatic Montréal pairs with the premiere edition of Chromatic Paris, which takes place from April 2 to 4 at Paris’ Cité de la mode et du design.
While Montréal enjoys a well-deserved reputation as a year-round, 24/7 nexus of cultural and recreational action, spring is when the city’s effervescent festival scene really starts bubbling. One of the many key events on the calendar is the Festival TransAmériques (FTA), celebrating new works in contemporary dance and theatre, which runs from May 21 to June 4. Showcasing both established and emerging artists, choreographers, writers and directors, this ninth edition of the FTA also aims to foster dialogue through a stimulating range of workshops, debates and roundtable discussions.
Speaking of stimulation, over 150 events and multi-sensory adventures are on the schedule at this year’s ever-popular and word-renowned MUTEK festival. From May 27 to 31, MUTEK will again be promoting artists and innovators at the forefront of electronic music, digital creativity, technology and live performance at several one-of-a-kind venues and spaces around downtown Montréal and its central Quartier des Spectacles. This includes appearances by Kiasmos (nouveau classical meets electronica), IDM legend Richard Devine, producer/musician Strategy, Adrian Sherwood (old school meets new school dub) and the North American premiere of critically acclaimed Berlin DJ Steffi, to name a very few.
And Montréal fest excellence doesn’t end there. In the weeks and months ahead, Montréal’s passion for creation and connection will be on display at such stellar, international-calibre events as the Elektra festival (which focuses on electronic music and the innovative use of new technology), the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA), and the much-loved weekly Piknic Électronik outdoor dance parties. And they’re all part of the 2015 edition of the “Digital Spring” project, which unifies and illuminates nearly 100 digitally inclined festivals, performance venues, galleries and museums, media and artistic agencies, educational centres and a sparkling array of creative organizations under one all-encompassing spotlight.